Dennis Prager

This notion of instant healing and preoccupation with the feelings of the peripherally involved, as opposed to the feelings of the directly hurt and anger over the evil committed, are functions of the psychotherapeutic culture in which we live.

I am an advocate of psychotherapy -- I frequently feature a psychiatrist as a guest on my radio show. But a major downside of the psychotherapeutic culture is that it regards everything in life in psychological terms and is preoccupied with feelings and the elimination of pain.

Pain is necessary. I far prefer a Virginia Tech campus filled with students enraged at the monstrous evil just committed and filled with grief over the deaths of so many of their fellow students than a Virginia Tech filled with students worried about healing their own pain.

Immediate talk of "healing" is not the only rhetoric we should drop. Let's also drop the nearly universal moral absurdity of counting murderers among the dead. As of this writing, eight hours after the massacre, I see on all the networks "32 dead." It should read "31 murdered." I do not know when exactly this notion of counting murderers along with their victims began, but it is a moral travesty.

No news organization would have imagined giving the number of dead at Pearl Harbor so as to include Japanese pilots shot down. But in our age of moral neutrality, all dead are given equal weight -- the terrorist along with his victims; the shooter along with the students.

Why is the Virginia Tech murderer always referred to as the "gunman" and not the "murderer"? Had he stabbed a dozen students to death, would he be the "knifeman"?

And why is it always referred to as a "tragedy"? Virginia Tech wasn't hit by a cyclone. That would be a tragedy. This was evil. Call it that.

We have embraced emotion-numbing, righteous-rage-denying, morally neutered, therapeutic language. It is as much a part of our national crisis as are the acts of evil we refuse to identify as such.


Dennis Prager

Dennis Prager is a SRN radio show host, contributing columnist for Townhall.com and author of his newest book, Still the Best Hope: Why the World Needs American Values to Triumph.
 
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